In Japan in 1954, Teiko Kumon found that her son, Takeshi Kumon, performed poorly in a Grade 2 maths test. She asked her husband, Toru Kumon, who was at the time a high school maths teacher, to help Takeshi with his maths.
Toru firstly asked Takeshi to review his school textbooks, but Toru soon realised these weren't giving Takeshi the sufficient practice material needed to consolidate his learning. Thus, Toru decided to create homemade, handwritten worksheets for his son to complete.
These were the precursors of today's Kumon worksheets.
Toru wrote these worksheets daily and Takeshi completed them daily. After four years of studying his father's worksheets, Takeshi could solve senior high school calculus problems while he was only in Grade 6.
Encouraged by Takeshi's success, Toru and Teiko established a maths centre at home and invited children from the neighbourhood to study with them. They helped all children who attended grow and learn.
In 1958, Toru decided to formally establish a franchise business, the Kumon Institute of Education.
Toru Kumon's original, handwritten worksheets
Toru Kumon with his family
High school maths teacher, Toru Kumon, saw students struggling with complex maths concepts due to slow and imprecise calculation skills